Desert camp to Desert Camp at the Red Sea
I can't lie about being very apprehensive this morning: 165km’s after the tough day yesterday and a serious lack of training. Add to that the first official race day, – it was set to be a tough one.
I decided to head out 5 minutes before the racers just to settle into a rhythm and warm up properly, but went through my gears and was sitting at 40kmh on my own almost straight out of camp. It turns out the promised tailwind had arrived.
I soon found myself in a group of 6 cruising quickly along. The teachers from Ontario, Frank, Swen and John where using the wind to its best and loving life. It has only been 2 days and I already realize its going to be a lot of fun riding with those guys. When we start hitting regular beer stops it might get kinda messy though. After 16km, We joined the Red Sea and spent the rest of the day with it at our side.
Around 50kms, we stopped for a rest and the main pack caught us. We all stopped for a pee break and a chat then I set of with the racers for the rest of the day.
The pace definately increased, helped by the Cairo cycling team. The bunch was around 15 strong and we where holding a steady 35-40 kmh, made easy by the wind still pushing us along. We had our first proper crash of the tour with Simon Exley hitting the deck pretty hard. He came away somehow with a bit of road rash and bruised ego.
After lunch the screw got turned up again and the bunch was reduced one by one till we were down to around 8 riders. We finally decided, with another 70kms to go, that we should ease off a bit, ( I was killing myself to stay on at this point)
The cease fire stayed in effect until the last few kms when Nick Padt nipped to the front for the win, with Carolla Tize and Lone Sand together in the group right behind.
Special mention again to Simon, who even after his crash, took 3rd place.
Camp tonight is a short walk form the Red Sea where most riders took a swim to clean up after 2 daysof riding. The farmers' tans have already started due to perfect sunshine for the first two days. Dinner was an awesome three course affair with Rice Chicken and Vegetables!